Which histologic findings are characteristic of infiltrative basal cell carcinoma?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

This type of BCC accounts for 10% of BCCs. Tumor cells have growth patterns resulting in strands of cells infiltrating between collagen bundles rather than round nests.

The strands of infiltrating BCC tend to be somewhat thicker than those seen in morpheaform BCC, and they have a spiky, irregular appearance (see the image below).

Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. Tumor cells are Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. Tumor cells are arranged in narrow strands, and mucin-rich stroma is often present. Courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD.

Infiltrating BCC usually does not exhibit the scarlike stroma seen in morpheaform BCC. Peripheral palisading and retraction are less pronounced in morpheaform and infiltrating BCC than in less aggressive forms of the tumor, and subclinical involvement is often extensive.


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